Scenes from the 1944 film Laura staring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews and Vincent Price. Vincent Price always considered this to be the best film he ever made. Ranked #4 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Mystery" in June 2008. Stars Gene Tierney, Judith Anderson, Dana Andrews and Vincent Price all died within three years of each other.

The American Quartet was a four-member vocal group that recorded for various companies in the United States between 1899 and 1925. The membership varied over the years, but the most famous line-up — comprising John Bieling (first tenor), Billy Murray (second tenor), Steve Porter (baritone), and William F. Hooley (bass).

Cagney's first job as an entertainer was as a female dancer in a chorus line. Extraordinarily (for Hollywood), he never cheated on his wife Frances, resulting in a marriage that lasted 64 years (ending with his death). The closest he came was nearly giving into a seduction attempt by Merle Oberon while the two stars were on tour to entertain World War II GIs. According to James Cagney's autobiography Cagney By Cagney, (Published by Doubleday and Company Inc 1976, and ghost written by show biz biographer Jack McCabe), a Mafia plan to murder Cagney by dropping a several hundred pound klieg light on top of him was stopped at the insistence of George Raft. Cagney at that time was president of the Screen Actors Guild, and was determined not to let the mob infiltrate the industry. Raft used his many mob connections to cancel the hit.
Originally a very left-wing Democrat activist during the 1930s, Cagney later switched his viewpoint and became progressively more conservative with age. He supported his friend Ronald Reagan's campaigns for the Governorship of California in 1966 and 1970, as well as his Presidential campaigns in 1980 and 1984. President Reagan delivered the eulogy at Cagney's funeral in 1986.

The Bill Of Rights, as defined by the 9th Article, which is a legal fail-safe that declares there is no mechanism inherent in the Constitution which can be used or created to alter, deny or disparage the unalienable rights enumerated in The Bill Of Rights. The US Constitution was the Supreme Law Of The Land from March 4, 1789, until December 14, 1791. On December 15, 1791 - the Bill Of Rights supplanted the Constitution as Supreme Law Of The Land in perpetuity due to the legal disbarment by Article 9 of The Bill Of Rights which does not allow any legal mechanism to be used to render changes to it, meaning all other legal pervues, including the US Constitution, are permanently inferior to The Bill OF Rights.

Dorothy Park Benjamin, whom Caruso married six weeks after the recording was made, used phonetics to coach Caruso on the English text.
She later said: "He liked everything about 'Over There'. The text, the melody, the idea and the composer George M. Cohan." Caruso sang this song at Liberty Bond Rallies around the Country, and even at the Metropolitan Opera House! The recording has become famous for Caruso's energetic singing of the English, and his far more polished French in the second verse.
Early recordings were made entirely acoustically, the sound being collected by a horn and piped to a diaphragm, which vibrated the cutting stylus. Sensitivity and frequency range were poor, and frequency response was very irregular, giving acoustic recordings an instantly recognizable tonal quality. A singer practically had to put his or her face in the recording horn.
Technical Notes: Acoustic; Swishing and distortion throughout

Although he was well beyond draft age Miller still strongly wanted to use his talents to help the war effort. After being turned down for a Navy commission he applied to the Army and was accepted with the rank of Captain. On September 27, 1942 he gave his last performance as a civilian. The Army assigned him to the Army Air Forces at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He first organized a marching band, then built a large dance band with over two dozen jazz players and 21 string musicians. From January 1943 to June 1944 the Glenn Miller AAF Band made hundreds of live performances. Miller took his band to Britain in June 1944. There he performed for the allied troops and did radio shows.

After the liberation of France, now-Major Glenn Miller wanted to bring his music closer to the troops serving on the Continent and arranged to have the band transferred to Paris. He planned to travel ahead of time to prepare for the full orchestra's arrival but bad weather delayed his flight. On December 15, 1944 he accepted an invitation from another officer who was going to Paris on what turned out to be an unauthorized flight. He apparently was unaware that the plane's pilot was inexperienced in winter flying, and more tragically, that the small UC-64 "Norseman" transport had been suffering from fuel-system problems. The plane never arrived in Paris, and on December 24, 1944 the AAF officially reported it and its crew as MIA (Missing in Action), under the presumption that it had gone down in the English Channel.

Mr. Arnold Smith of Southampton, PA, reported that he saw Maj. Glenn Miller's dead body in Paris. He claimed that Miller was shot by a stranger, who was arrested by GIs. Miller's body was taken by a GI ambulance to the military hospital. Mr. Smith released his account on the Big Band Broadcast on March 17, 2001, and also published the story in Philadelphia's Bucks County Courier Times on March 4, 2001.
The German paper 'Bild' in a 1997 story by journalist Udo Ulfkoutte, put forward a theory that Glenn Miller died in a Paris brothel and that a plane crash was a mere cover-up.

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A few scenes from the 1952 film Monkey Business with Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe.

Recorded 1947 from Decca 48076.
Sceans from the motion picture "Detour" starring Tom Neal and Ann Savage.

Photography by Andrew Midkiff

Scenes from the 1932 short "Free Eats".
Recorded from Victor 78 RPM record 20105
More on Jan Garber at;

Les Brown, born March 14, 1912 was one of the few big bands that worked steadily from the 1930's through the 70s. Brown was known to be a talented arranger early in his career. Brown's band had a good engagement at the 1939 New York World's Fair. In 1941 Brown had his first major hit in "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio". In 1947 his band began a long association with Bob Hope, and his band went on overseas tours to entertain the servicemen. Les Brown had one of the few bands to survive the decline of the big bands.

Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra
From Victor record 25238
Recorded February 9, 1928
For more on Paul Whiteman go to;

The first time she signed an autograph as Marilyn Monroe, she had to ask how to spell it. She didn't know where to put the "i" in "Marilyn".
In 1972, actress Veronica Hamel and her husband became the new owners of Marilyn's Brentwood home. They hired a contractor to replace the roof and remodel the house, and the contractor discovered a sophisticated eavesdropping and telephone tapping system that covered every room in the house. The components were not commercially available in 1962, but were in the words of a retired Justice Department official, "standard FBI issue." This discovery lent further support to claims of conspiracy theorists that Marilyn had been under surveillance by the Kennedy's and the Mafia. The new owners spent $100,000 to remove the bugging devices from the house.

Scenes are from the 1940 film "Strange Cargo". This is a great movie and has almost non-stop action. The plot is deep and absorbing. A great cast, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable and Peter Lorre. Worth a look.

The music is from a 1934 Victor recording #24681 Isham Jones and His Orchestra
For more on Isham Jones go to;

Recorded 1949 from RCA Victor 78 RPM record 20-3326
Scenes are from the WB film "High Sierra starring Humphry Bogart, Ida Lupino and Willie Best. The dogs name in the movie was Pard real name Zero.

Sunday funny
Scenes from;
Kid Speed 1924 Larry Semon
The Bank Dick 1940 W.C. Fields
Hog Wild 1930 Laurel and Hardy
Music is from Victor special record recorded May 23, 1927
with Bix Beiderbecke
For more on Jean Goldkette go to;

Betty's classic beauty put her on over 300 magazine covers and books.
Betty had the greatest hourglass figure of all time: 38-18-36 (inches).
She was in thousands of magazine spreads.
Her face appeared on full-page ads in Life, Time, Fortune, Look, Saturday Evening Post and other leading magazines of her day.
She won over 50 beauty contests before the age of 20.
Betty, the ultimate Calendar Girl, appeared on hundreds of calendars.
She was on numerous music album covers;
On billboards in Times Square and billboards across the country;
On life-size cutouts in retail stores selling Kodak film, Thom McAn shoes and other products.

Every time you see a green tree hanging in an auto windshield, think of Betty. It was her effervescent smile on display cards that started that trend and made these tree air fresheners famous throughout the world. They are still sold today.

Betty was the first model to receive residuals every time her picture was published.
She was one of the first models to own the rights to many of her negatives and photos.
She was the highest paid model of that time period.
Betty was the first true Super Model.

This is one of the largest collections of Betty Brosmer photos. Hundreds of photos will still be added from original negatives and prints owned and copyrighted by Betty. Many have never been published before.

Sceans from the 1932 Laurel and Hardy short "Towed In a Hole"
Music from;
Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra with the Rhythm Boys
From Victor record 21274

Something snaps when an actress loses her looks and her career falters. It doesn’t happen all the time, but a very sad fall from grace for these girls is all too common – especially when their career was almost exclusively based on their sex appeal. Once their male audiences lose interest, things go downhill fast.

Yvette Vickers had appeared in Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman before making a splash as the centerfold in a 1959 issue of Playboy. Hugh Heffner has stated that he was genuinely concerned a major lawsuit would result from Yvette’s bare behind, but nothing materialized. In the years that followed, Yvette bounced from B-movie to B-movie, making appearances on the convention circuit before fading into obscurity.

Those that knew her in her later years say she was paranoid and delusional, ultimately becoming a total recluse. Then, in 2011, a disturbing discovery: Yvette’s mummified remains were found in her apartment – she had been dead for over a year! Yvette lived a full life, but her later years were lonely and sad.

Born Barbara Nickerauer in New York on December 30, 1928, Barbara Nichols started in show business as a model and burlesque dancer in the late 1940s and gained notoriety as a dancer in the Latin Quarter. In the early 1950s, she appeared on Broadway in Pal Joey and would eventually reprise her role in the film version, released in 1957. In 1954 Nichols began doing guest spots on popular TV anthology series, such as The United States Steel Hour and Center Stage.
Getting good notices, Nichols was cast in a small role in her first film, The Wild Party (1956; with Carol Ohmart). Throughout the remainder of the 1950s, Nichols acted in a string of A and B pictures, such as Pal Joey (1957; with Frank Sinatra) and The Naked and the Dead (1958; with Aldo Ray). In 1958, she landed her only television series, the short-lived Love that Jill with Anne Jeffreys. She also starred in the pilot for The Untouchables with Robert Stack, which aired on Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse in 1958.
Two separate car accidents, one in July 1957 and another in the 1960s, took a toll on Barbara Nichols' health. The 1957 wreck required the removal of her spleen, but she bounced back quickly given the severity of her injuries. The 1960s accident damaged her liver. Nichols' film career began to run out of steam by the mid 1960s; taking on roles in low-budget films, she acted in such films as House of Women (1962; with Constance Ford and Jeanne Cooper) and The Human Duplicators (1965; with George Nader and Hugh Beaumont). However, Nichols kept working, making occasional films and numerous television appearances through 1976 when, as a result of her previous car accidents, her failing liver ravaged her health. After spending two months in a coma, Nichols passed away on October 5, 1976, at the age of 47. She was survived by her father and mother.

Joseph Frank Keaton 1895 - 1966. At 6 months old, he tumbled down a flight of stairs unharmed, it is said he was given the name "Buster" by Harry Houdini. Buster Keaton created some of the most imaginative films of the silent era. Before signing with MGM in 1928, he preformed all of his own stunts. Not only did he do his own stunts, but, when needed, he acted as stunt double for other actors in films. Keaton served in WWI US Army 40th Infantry Division fighting in Germany, where he became hearing impaired.

Music is from Victor record # 21398 Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra recorded 1928

Nathalie Kay "Tippi" Hedren (born January 19, 1930) is an American actress, animal rights activist and former fashion model.
A successful fashion model from her twenties, appearing on the front covers of Life and Glamour magazines among others, Hedren became an actress after she was discovered by director Alfred Hitchcock while appearing on a television commercial in 1961. She received world recognition for her work in two of his films, the suspense-thriller The Birds in 1963, for which she won a Golden Globe, and the psychological drama Marnie in 1964. Hedren has appeared in over eighty films and TV shows including Charlie Chaplin's final film, A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), the Alexander Payne political satire Citizen Ruth (1996), and the David O. Russell existential comedy I Heart Huckabees (2004), and her contributions to world cinema have been honored with the Jules Verne Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame among others.

Her strong commitment to animal rescue began in 1969 while she was shooting two films in Africa and was introduced to the plight of African lions. In an attempt to raise awareness for wildlife, she spent nearly eleven years bringing Roar (1981) to the screen. She started her own non-profit organization, the Roar Foundation, in 1983 to support The Shambala Preserve, an 80-acre (32 ha) wildlife habitat which enables her to continue her work in the care and preservation of lions and tigers. Hedren has also traveled worldwide to set up relief programs following earthquakes, hurricanes, famine and war. She was instrumental in the development of Vietnamese-American nail salons in the United States. (source Wikipedia)
Music is from her film Marnie.

Lee Remick made one of her last public appearances on April 29, 1991, to receive her star on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame." In the last stages of kidney cancer, her face was extremely bloated by the chemo treatments she was receiving. She died two months later on July 2nd at the age of 55. See more info on Lee Remick at;

A child of deaf mute parents, Chaney became a master of pantomime and understanding people who were born different. A quiet soul by nature, Chaney valued his privacy highly. Granting few interviews and disliking the Hollywood social whirl, he much preferred spending quiet time with his family and a few close friends, often at his cabin in the Sierra Nevadas. This avoidance of publicity led him to be unfairly labeled by some as strange and unfriendly. Yet those who knew him best always described him as a good, loving husband, father, and friend. Similarly, his co-stars, among them Loretta Young and Joan Crawford, remembered him as being very cooperative and helpful, especially to those performers without much experience. Chaney befriended the young Boris Karloff shortly after Karloff's arrival in Hollywood.He helped Karloff gain a foothold in the movies, and until the end of his life, Karloff always spoke kindly of Chaney as a good friend and colleague.

Were it not for his death, Chaney, rather than Bela Lugosi, would have been Tod Browning's choice for the starring role in Dracula (1931). For many years, the cause of the lung cancer that brought about his death at the age of 47 was thought to have been a piece of artificial snow, made out of crushed gypsum, that lodged in his throat during the filming of Thunder (1929), his last silent film. However, Chaney biographer and scholar Michael Blake points out that the most likely cause was the fact that Chaney was a heavy smoker, and that the piece of artificial snow merely hastened the inevitable.

Unbeknown to many people, who consider Chaney a "horror actor", he was an amazing dancer in his stage years. The only film that contains footage of him dancing is the incomplete The Fascination of the Fleur de Lis (1915). He was also known to be a hilarious comedian. In fact, one report of the day said, "As a comedian, he is irresistible". And according to Michael F. Blake (Chaney's biographer), Lon could even sing. Sadly, no audio recordings exist of Chaney singing, but people who knew him said that he had a rich baritone voice.

His knowledge of make-up was so vast that he wrote the entry on the subject for an edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. He carried almost all the make-up he used in films in a small leather case he always had with him when in Hollywood.

Date of Birth April 1, 1883, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Date of Death August 26, 1930, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Birth Name Leonidas Frank Chaney
Nickname Man of a Thousand Faces

Personal Quote:
"I wanted to remind people that the lowest types of humanity may have within them the capacity for supreme self-sacrifice. The dwarfed, misshapen beggar of the streets may have the noblest ideals. Most of my roles since The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), such as The Phantom of the Opera (1925), He Who Gets Slapped (1924), The Unholy Three (1925), etc., have carried the theme of self-sacrifice or renunciation. These are the stories which I wish to do."


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At PTA Blues we love old music and movies. We are your guide to the best in vintage film, music, radio and television shows. Explore forgotten film classics, historic documentaries and rare records.